Visiting Sydney, Australia

Host of the 2000 Olympic Games Sydney is an always popular city with plenty of free entertainment, and with this in mind we arrived on a day the weather was not at its best but fair enough to do some siteseing and perhaps most important, try to figure out how we were going to get to Melbourne from Sydney without spending a fortune.

Thus we almost spent our two first days in internet cafes, with an occasional walk not too far. But it proved very usefull. During the second day I leraned that Travellers Auto Barn (one of the large camper van rental companies in Australia) was hosting an open door day nearby and including a free BBQ and a raffle that would give away 7 days worth of camper van rental of a Hi-top campervan. All you had to do was guess how many jelly beans were in a jug and the person who got closest would be the winner.

The day was a complete fiasco weather-wise, with thunder and rain pouring all morning and keeping visitors away. But alas that ended up being good for us because guess who won? We! Not only did we eat great free barbecue food all morning but we also got the free rental for seven days drop off in Melbourne. And if that wasn’t enough when I asked if I could pay for two extra days we got those for free as well. The staff was very kind and entertaining, and I would like to thank them for all their help and support. Final note: when learning that we would spend our 5th anniversary in it they surprised us with a bottle of sparkling wine. Woohoo!

As far as tourism goes we did the mandatory: the Opera House, the Royal Botanical Gardens and walking across Harbour Bridge in one day, Bondi beach on another and the CBD with some shopping on another. There is plenty of walking to be enjoyed, so don’t cut corners if you have the time. As a last tip try visitng the Anzac War Memorial once the night is in- wild yet peacefull possums abound on the trees around it waiting to be portrayed with your camera, providing great entertainment for kids and adults alike.

This leads me to the last surprise of our Sydney visit. For the second time in our trip we contacted somebody through couchsurfing (read more about our couchsurfing experiences and what this is ), and this time our host was Tim. Right off the bat I got the feeling he is a nice person willing to make friends and meet people. But this said, we didn’t expect him to be as kind as he is, picking us up from the hostel on day one, taking us to the city the next…

We cooked a Mexican-Spanish dinner on the first day, and during that evening we all realized we were getting along very well and a good friendship was starting. We also had a chance to meet his daughter Amelia who turned out to be a riot at just 8 y/o, as well as his brother and wife.It was very interesting to listen to his stories and experiences, as well as his brother’s anecdotes (he’s a pilot in the Australian Air Force).

Tim and Amelia

It was like this that a week went by, but what else could we ask for? We had 9 more days of campervan travel for free, had had the chance to visit Sydney (here’s a guide for you to visit Sydney in one day), and made a friend who will visit us in the near future. And with all these memories we started out third roadtrip: Sydney to Melbourne.

Have you visited Sydney? It’s a fantastic city, don’t you think? What do you like best?

Leave a Reply 16 comments

Rob - June 25, 2013 Reply

Visiting Australia for the first time next Spring from Canada. Going to spend a few days in Sydney then up the coast and finally making our way to Alice Springs. Enjoyed your photos and adventures. Look forward to reading your other posts on Australia. Thanks for sharing!

    maitravelsite - June 26, 2013 Reply

    Enjoy your trip Rob! Glad you found the post useful and thanks for stopping by 🙂

Camels & Chocolate - November 4, 2011 Reply

Yes, yes, YES. Visited Sydney for the first time last year (second visit to Australia) and seriously believe it’s a city I can live in long term. Sadly, I don’t think that will actually ever happen!

    maitravelsite - November 8, 2011 Reply

    It is friendly and with plenty of things to do right?

Marc Rasmussen@downtown sarasota condos - August 7, 2011 Reply

You have certainly brought your readers to Australia by just posting those photos.

    maitravelsite - August 7, 2011 Reply

    Glad you like them Marc!

Patricia Freire - December 19, 2010 Reply

We’ll be going to Australia in February and staying only 10 days. Which city do you recommend between Brisbane and Melbourne? We are visiting Sydney and the Barrier Reefs.

    maitravelsite - December 19, 2010 Reply

    Hi Patricia! See, this is one of those questions that might put me on the spot. Many people seem to love Melbourne, but I have lived there and it’s not my cup of tea. I would hang out in Brisbane, and explore the nearby towns of Mooloolooba, Noosa Heads or even head inland! But, if you prefer the bar scene and urban environments then head to Melbourne. I have a post on each destination; search “Brisbane”and “Melbourne” to find each and gain further insight. Feel free to ask me more if you wish!

Jozef Maxted - December 16, 2010 Reply

Looks like you had a great time. We’re looking to campers for OZ and couchsurfing too. Both seem like fun options

    maitravelsite - December 16, 2010 Reply

    They are certainly the best two in my opinion! When are you heading to Australia? I am currently preparing something that you could probable benefit from, but I think it will take me another month to have it ready. Awesome blog design by the way!

Elle@Sydney Australia things to do - November 12, 2010 Reply

Hi Federico,

I’ve really enjoyed following your travels around Australia from Brisbane down to Melbourne.

It’s great that you had such a good time in Sydney – that’s my town, even though I don’t live there all the time any more.

Although I sometimes feel as though I’m there even when I’m not, through writing all the Sydney pages for my website.

I used to deal with the people from Travellers Auto Barn and I found them to be both helpful and friendly. So it’s good to hear that you had a similar good experience with them.

Good luck with all the rest of your travels,
Elle

    maitravelsite - November 12, 2010 Reply

    Thanks Elle. Your city is a great one not only to visit, but to live in as well.
    Federico

Tim Watson - May 14, 2010 Reply

Boy, that young girl is a cutie – and who is her good looking father ???

Cheers and I’ll e-mail you shortly,

Tim

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